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Ford Focus Sedan

L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
Welcome to the continuation of the Ford Focus -
Part 3
topic. Those of you joining us from that
topic are welcome to continue your discussion.

If you're new to this topic, you may want to
follow the above link for additional archived


Sedans Host


  • I do remember a while back in part three, that the Focus is a very good snow handler. The ground clearance that the Focus has is better than many cars, and equal to many Suv's, so i think the only thing to worry about is tires. I recommend Bridgestone Blizzak's and i believe Dunlop has a very good snow tire, as well.
    Hope that helps, happy holidays to all!
  • Tis the season. Ah yes, the snow and mistletoe.

    It truly is nice to see Foci Sedan owners posting in here with positive upbeat responses. You know, "Love my Focus, going strong after 800 miles!" "2000 trouble free miles on my ZTS sure am loving it" "This car has been flawless, 8,000 miles strong."

    I'll reason that most of these seasonal posts are first time Ford owners. Some how the thought of reading " love my Focus, still going strong after 60,000 miles." seems like something out of a Ray Bradbury novel. But heck, I'm just an angry Protege' owner. Prior to that I was an angry Toyota, and Honda owner.

    Must be an anti-Ford conspiracy.

    Happy Holidays,
    Mark. :)
  • bobk14bobk14 Posts: 17
    Can anyone answer the following questions which the Ford dealer and their customer assistance center could not?

    1) Does the Focus have a timing belt or a timing chain?

    2) The oil is required to be changed every 5,000 miles, but no time limit is stated. Is there a time limit as well as mileage?

    3) Does the transmission fluid have to be changed at 30,000 miles or only inspected at that time?

    4) At what mileage should the engine coolant be changed?

    This information is not answered in the maintenance book.

    Thanks for the replies and happy holidays to all.
  • Glideslope: Ray Bradbury not withstanding we HAVE a 2000 Focus company vehicle with 72,000 on it and NO problems whatsoever. Will be ordering six more on Monday to replace the six 2000 Sunfires that have all started to self-destruct at 40 to 50K.

  • We test drove a Ford Focus today. My 6'1" husband was uncomfortable with the head rest pushing his head forward. It is only adjustable up & down...won't tilt..couldn't seem to get it in a good position. This is enough to keep us from buying the car. Darn. Anybody else have this problem?
  • Thanks to all those that have posted about snow. It is coming soon and I am not too keen on dealing with it. Your posts have gave me hope that the Focus will do well. Here's hoping.

    I am going to break my own pledge to ignore the negative posts. I am afraid that I can't let wanton ingnorance go to the wayside.

    Glide-- Who said you were just an angry Protege owner??? What was said is that you weren't a FOCUS owner. Hence, when it comes to credibly posting about the Focus...there is little. Are you angry? If so, I suggest counseling. As for not seeing posts about having 60,000 miles and still going strong: you have one now, and has it just slipped your mind that the Focus has just recently begun its second year of production?? How many people put 60,000 miles on their car in a year? I am guessing the only one would be company vehicles. So OF COURSE there isn't going to be such posts. Heaven forbid that people would post from their first hand EXPERIENCE and not from what they guess might be a problem.

    Hope everybody had a Happy Thanksgiving!
  • tu4tu4 Posts: 4
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
  • Well, I am pleased to report that my 5 speed ZTS performs well in snow (compared to a 91 Saturn coupe I had a few years ago...a similar fwd, 4 banger w/ abs.) I have about 11K on the thing; so far it's been trouble free AND my dealer has serviced it with no hassles. That's unusual in my experience. I consistently get about 33 mpg including 70+ mph daily commutes. As for the cold NE Ohio weather, the heater works quickly and evenly and the engine starts w/o drama. I'm a big guy so I was particularly impressed with the high, supportive seating. The head restraint, BTW, reminds me of the Volvo head restraints. This is much safer than a less obtrusive seat. This is very different than other small frankly reminds me of the position in my Chrysler Town and Country. (I do wish it had the heated seats the minivan has!) I'm a musician so the CD/radio quality is also a real plus. (BTW, don't use the automatic level control or peak degrades the music slightly. I also like to boost the treble +3 for most music.) Hey, let's not get too emotionally involved with these machines. The car, though lots of fun, is just a tool, albeit, in my humble opinion, one that has worked extremely well for me!

    My 2 cents!
  • Zippy,

    No real need for the personal attacks. Remember, we are talking about an automobile here. Let's try and be adults.

    Mark. :)
  • No personal attacks meant. Simply pointing out what I believed to be pretty obvious discrepancies. I asked what I thought to be pretty pertinent questions.
  • I suspect that Protege owners lurk around here because they own a car that is an upstaged media darling. I'm a big guy and the Focus is as small and light as I want to go. So comparisons with the Protege are irrelevant.
    My 2001 ZTS has zero defects so far(1000mi). I continue to be more impressed. I keep expecting to find cheapness and shortcuts considering all the stuff that the car comes with and the price. But so far have found none. The best feature of the car is that it has the ride quality of a bigger car until the road gets twisty then it feels like a sports car. Ford really got the suspension right.
    I have a maintenance question also. Ford recommends 5-20 weight engine oil. I have never seen this oil in stores. Does anybody have any comments on this?
  • I also was a little put off by the headrests, but i put them a little higher (one click up) and it seems to be better...try it.
  • I forgot to mention my Zts is defect free 6900 miles now, since June 20. Only complaint has been a squeel from the brakes in the cold, only in the morning after start up. that is it....
  • When I went in for wheel recall, the mechanic explained my squeaky brakes as the result of moisture between the brake pad (supposedly a side effect since they can no longer use asbestos) and the front disc. He said there is nothing to worry about.

    And I just passed 8000 miles this weekend and not a single problem. And NYC driving isn't exactly easy on a car...

  • I have been waiting to receive my recall notice in the mail. I have not gotten it yet. I was wondering if I can bring it to my dealer and have them fixed before I get a notice??? Thanks for any help
  • From, you can definitlely take it in before/ without getting the notices. In fact, I did just that.

    When I made my appointment, they just asked me what I was coming in for, so I mentioned the recalls.

    Hope that helps...
  • I meant to write:
    "From my experience, you can definitely..."
  • I did not get any recall notice either, but I took mine in for the 5k service and requested the recalls to be performed. But you can definately take it in anytime, call and make an appointment.
  • most dealers do not have a problem with it. however it is in your best interest to call ahead, have the dealer run your VIN # and then check to see if they even have the parts for the recall if your car is affected by it.....
  • Had a light blue 4dr.Focus from Hertz with the SPI 2.0 liter engine and auto transmission for two days this month. Drove the car 635 miles in Nevada and Utah over those two days and was amazed at how comfortable I was. (I'm 6'3" and 230lbs.) Rock solid at 80MPH on the highway and yet very nimble around town. I was very impressed! Wish my '00 Taurus was as fun to drive.
  • Thanks everyone, I'm going to call the dealer today.
  • Greetings, all. I've driven a SE sedan since Oct (3000K) and still enjoy jumping behind the wheel each morning. No problems at all, though I have a couple of minor questions:

    First, there's quite a range in my gas mileage from in town (22-23) to highway (30+). Is this the numbers that others are experiencing?

    Second, audio volume jumps from 0 (none) to 1 (loud). Is there any manual adjustment?

    Third, has anyone else noticed that the passenger side door/window frame support creates a blind spot when at intersections?

    I just hope all the problems with this car are as minor as these.

    Best to all.
  • Glad to hear that driving the Focus was such an enjoyable experience for you. They are very fun to drive cars indeed.

  • Yes, I also get a wide gap (about 9 mpg) between what I get in most city driving and highway driving.

    I don't have the standard Focus stereo so I'm not qualified to speak on your stereo issue, but I have read a few others mention that the stereo does seem to go from off to loud in too few clicks/turns.

    As for blind spots, yes, the Focus has very thick pillars which can/do obstruct visibility at times.

  • I'm considering buying a Focus in a few months and haven't had a close look at the engine. Does anyone know how easy it is to change the oil filter (on the 2.0 engine)? I don't mind going under the car so long as the filter is easy to remove.
    Thanks for the info.
  • This is my first time buying a car. Scared to death. I was ready to buy a Focus and then read a car magazine that said the Focus would have been rated best car of the year except for it's unreliability! But these posts seem to make it sound very reliable. I'm going to trade in my Ford Explorer (high mileage, afraid it will not be reliable much longer) and I zeroed it down to the Focus. Anyone, Everyone, HELP! Is the Focus reliable? A good choice?
  • Reliable, absolutely. I dont think anyone here has had a car strand them, or be undriveable (with the exception of some isolated cruise control incidents early on). and as now you ve probably noticed there ARE happy Focus owners with no regrets, and that goes for ME my Sister, my friend,AND my other friend!!! Thats a lot of the same model with no problems in 7 months.
    As for the stereo, Is the AVC on or off? If its on it might make the volume seem to loud(it does raise the volume with speed) so if its on , turn it to a lower setting, or off. If you havent discovered this feature read the manual, or simply press the menu button until you find AVC+the higher the number that shows, the higher the volume will raise automatically.
    Hope that helps..
  • Keep one thing in mind when factoring in the "unreliability" of the Focus. The year 2000 was the initial production year for the Focus in the states. The reliability problem that the magazines focus in on (no pun intended) seem to center around the recalls that the car had. Almost all, if not all of these were production issues, not quality issues. What you will see in this forum is that Focus owners, for the most part love their car and have had little or no trouble with it.

    They are a fun car to drive, nice to look at (unlike the Echo - thats one ugly car), and fun to own. There are some unanswered questions, as there are on all new models. If you want a proven, tried, and historically reliable car, don't buy the Focus. Get a Corolla or something like that. You simply can't get those things in such a new model. However, if you want a car that is cutting edge, superior styling, and a quality car that almost everyone loves to drive, the Focus is for you. Remember recalls do not necessarily equate to poor reliability. I am guessing that the 2001 model will have these recall issues ironed out.
  • First and foremost, the Focus is a very promising vehicle. Buying a car is a crapshoot, sometimes we lose.

    That said, 2001 vehicles are a much safer bet in terms of staying bug free.

    I have a 2000 SE Sport Sedan (built in February) and I've yet to have a problem. I live in New York City - a place rough on cars - and I've had 8200 trouble free miles despite my poor driving habits - hey, is it my fault that my foot is so heavy :).

    If, god forbid, my car was totaled in an accident, I'd buy another Focus. In a heartbeat. I'm that impressed with this car.

    Anyhow, whatever you decide to buy, good luck with it!

  • If you use quality parts but you can't put them together correctly you defintely have issues.
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